CMU earns second-place finish in NIU quad meet


Ontario freshman all-around gymnast Morgan Tong competes on beam during the Central Michigan University vs. Illinois State University meet Jan. 11 at McGuirk Arena.  

CMU carried its dominance on the floor routine from last meet into DeKalb on Sunday evening, where the Chippewas earned a second-place finish in the NIU quad meet with an overall team score of 196.125.

Finishing below in the meet standings were host Northern Illinois and Western Michigan, who posted scores of 195.500 and 194.050, respectively. Iowa State picked up the win as the Cyclones managed a team score of 196.275.

As the season has progressed, so has Central Michigan’s approach to competition. New faces have entered into lineups in both of the last two meets. Last week it was freshman Lia Kmieciak on the uneven parallel bars, and this week CMU welcomed senior Morgan Tong back into the beam lineup for the first time this season. 

Tong, who currently holds the Mid-American Conference individual title on beam from last season, posted a score of 9.775 in the rotation, good for a fourth-place finish in her return.

Tong, however, was not the only Chippewa to earn a top-five finish for the event. Joining her were sophomores Katie Kowalski (third-place with a 9.800) and Adriana Bustelo (second-place with a 9.825).

Kmieciak managed to capitalize on the momentum she built last week in her first taste of NCAA competition as she turned in another impressive performance. She posted a score of 9.775 on the bars and is quickly proving to be a promising young gymnast for coach Christine MacDonald going forward.

While the beam rotation should be a strong one as the team nears the MAC Championship, no single event has been as impressive as Central’s floor rotation. Last week’s mark of 49.300 was nearly matched tonight as CMU finished the rotation with a 49.275. 

Junior Hannah DeMers and senior Sierra DeMarinis once again led the charge with marks of 9.925 (a season high) and 9.900 respectively to close out the rotation. From the top of the lineup down, no Chippewa scored lower than 9.775. These results yielded four top-five finishes from CMU (only outdone by their vault rotation, where they had five). 

DeMers finished first in three events Saturday, tying for first on on the uneven parallel bars and winning the vault and floor exercise.

With just three meets left before the MAC Championship, the Chippewas’ lineups are starting to take form. CMU is getting more consistent performances from their entire roster, and the younger faces are taking on larger roles as it sets its focus for the remainder of the season.

CMU will return to competition against Kent State next week when the Golden Flashes head to Mt. Pleasant to face off with Central Michigan in McGuirk Arena. The meet is set for 1 p.m. Sunday.